8 Steps to Improve Your Employee Retention Strategies

Yet another great employee just left your office after giving you their two-week notice as they head to a “better opportunity” with a different company. Add one more name to the list of top-notch workers who have left your team in the past year or two. If you’re seeing a trend of solid team members who are leaving your business, it may be time to improve your employee retention strategies.

Losing a valued worker to employee turnover can cost you up to two times their annual salary depending on the role they played in your organization. High turnover can also reduce employee engagement, decrease your company’s productivity, and increase your training costs.

By focusing on improving your employee retention rate, you can boost your company’s morale. Getting employees to remain at your company for longer periods of time improves your bottom line and promotes loyalty from the entire staff. When you set both new hires and current workers up for success with strategies for employee retention, you can effectively lower your turnover rate.

The Benefits of Focusing on Employee Retention

When organizations put more effort into retaining employees, they are making an investment in their future and the future of their team. Better retention rates lead to an improved quality of work, lower training costs, and higher levels of productivity. Team members will be more focused on their work and less focused on finding better opportunities.

A study conducted by LinkedIn has discovered the typical turnover rate is as much as 10.9% across the world. The same research found that the tech sector has the most volatility with a surprisingly high 13.2% turnover rate. Part of this increase in the tech sector may be due to the high demand for tech-related skills.

With other industries like retail, media, and professional services also seeing high rates of turnover, questions often arise about ways to hold on to employees that may otherwise seek out new jobs.

How to Craft Effective Employee Retention Strategies

The best employees stay with an organization for a variety of different reasons. When someone quits, keep a standard practice of holding exit interviews to learn why they decided to leave.

These exit interviews will give you regular feedback about how your employee retention strategies are doing in practice. You can then use the insight to make improvements and create a better environment for the next individual you hire.

1. Improve Your Onboarding Process

Employee retention strategies: Man shakes interviewee's hand

According to Gallup, only “12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job onboarding new employees.” When onboarding fails, it makes it harder for an employee to form an emotional connection to their team.

The employee experience begins the moment your new hires walk in the door. Your onboarding process is vital as it shows workers how important they are to a company and sets them up for success.

Start by considering the aspects of your company culture you want to focus on and find candidates who match them. As you onboard new employees, spend time sharing your culture with them even as early as the interview process since this allows them to feel a sense of ownership and belonging in your company.

There’s also really important information you pick up on during the interviewing process. Pass them onto the hiring manager and onboarding team. If you’re having trouble consolidating and organizing your candidate notes, consider a platform like Searchlight.

Once new people join your team, involve them in fun and engaging team building activities so they can get to know their co-workers better. Some great ways you can promote a positive onboarding experience include:

  • Curated first day with the team
  • Competitive challenges to meet deadlines or milestones
  • Ice-breaker questionnaires

2. Choose the Best Candidates

Following the right strategies can help boost your employee retention by finding the right team members. You need to find top talent, but you also want to search for candidates who have a track record of longevity at previous jobs.

During your hiring process, look for people who have a history of loyalty, commitment, and perseverance. This may be someone who has worked for a company for many years, a long-term athlete, or a committed volunteer. All of these types of activities represent someone who is committed to a cause and sticks with something once they get started.

3. Cultivate a Sense of Ownership

Another one of the most successful employee retention strategies is to develop a sense of loyalty within your staff. You can cultivate feelings of ownership by connecting the employee’s job to both their co-workers’ and clients’ success.

Making your company values clear will help you find and keep team members who feel dedicated to your cause. Encourage the growth and development of your employees to show them you want them to succeed. When they feel supported and cared for by their employer, they will be more motivated to support their company and feel like it’s more than simply another job. 

4. Provide Education and Training

Employees want to feel like they are always growing and going somewhere with their career, making professional development essential to the success of a business. You can do this by paying for employees to get new credentials and certifications or even by offering tuition reimbursement for those who want to further their education.

Your company can also make learning and career development easier by getting a membership to one of the many different e-learning sites available such as Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, and Lynda by LinkedIn. Another great option is partnering with a local university or online college.

5. Give Clear Paths to Advancement

Employee retention strategies: CEO speaks to her team

Another employee retention strategy is to offer promotions and opportunities for advancement, proving your dedication to their career growth. Provide your employees with reviews on a regular basis to discuss their goals and desires for the future. During each review, you can discuss your expectations and show employees their potential career trajectory.

From there, find or create opportunities for these individuals to move up in your company and play a bigger role in its success. Giving someone more responsibility shows you trust them, increasing their loyalty to you as well as their desire to stick around.

6. Hire Reliable Managers That Promote Retention

Research shows most employees leave bad bosses and not bad companies. As part of your process to improve employee retention strategies, consider the quality of your management staff if certain teams have unusually high turnover rates.

There is always the possibility of top performers getting job offers from other companies. But if they feel they have a voice and a good relationship with their leaders, these individuals are much more likely to stay right where they are.

7. Offer the Right Perks

If you are struggling to figure out how to retain employees, it may be time to rethink your benefits package. Stock options, parental leave, health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and vacation time are all ways you can entice your best employees to stay longer.

Some great benefits ideas you can integrate include discounts, charity donations, flexible schedules, free memberships, and more. Additional perks like company picnics and retreats can also help boost employee bonding.

8. Create a Strong Company Culture

Another one of the best employee retention strategies is to improve your company culture. When you hire employees who fit in with the culture you want for your business, everything else falls into place. Company culture adds value to the job, defines a clear vision, and helps employees know what to do when they have to make decisions.

To promote a culture where members of your team feel comfortable, make sure you are always adapting and finding new ways to include people and their values. Reward those who provide valuable contributions to the company, urge everyone to develop professional relationships with teammates, and always maintain open communication about the purpose behind tasks.

A few ways you can get people involved is through activities such as:

  • Company picnics
  • Weekly video game tournaments
  • Annual team retreats

Reduce Your Turnover Rates and Boost Retention

When it comes to improving your employee retention strategies, start by encouraging your managers to have an open-door policy and welcome feedback from all levels. If an employee ends up quitting, conduct an exit interview to find out the reason why and if there is anything you can do to improve the situation.

But as you integrate these 10 ideas into your standard practices, you’ll find that your managers are doing far less of these interviews in the first place. Promote the importance of an even work-life balance, develop feelings of dedication among your team, and show that you’re there to help them grow.

By improving your retention strategies, your business will boost morale, reduce labor costs, increase productivity, and upgrade the overall work environment.

Plus, with innovative referencing software like Searchlight, you can make data-driven decisions to help you bring on team members who will fit your culture and stay with your company for the foreseeable future.

Want to hire more high performers and increase retention?

Serchlight’s Talent Intelligence has got you covered